Great Results Can Be Greater

Yesterday, I wrote about metrics and the importance of measuring relevant data—that which guides you to real growth. Carrying on with that theme, I saw a piece from Brandweek last week about Levi’s and viral videos. The article celebrated a new viral video from the denim giant focused on their 501 line of jeans that received 3.5 million hits in its first ten days. The jeans company wants to chase that early success now, hoping to ride the wave to a younger consumer base.

Having that kind of response is fantastic! Really, it is. And chasing that level of attention is spot on. Now comes the hard part: finding a way to measure how that first viral video translates into additional sales of 501s.

That also means that they have to chase the success in a way that allows them to measure the results in a meaningful way. In other words, whatever they do must convert new customers in a way that they can know what they did was right and why it worked.

Most folks will tell you that kind of measurement is near impossible. And they are right for the most part. And it’s because the ads and promotions themselves usually aren’t created in a way to generate measureable results.

Some compensate for that through web addresses specific to an ad, time frame or particular channel. Others use timing with a phone number (“call within the next 15 minutes…”). For direct sales, that can be effective. When the sale goes through an intermediary, like a retailer, using tools like those only measure web hits or phone calls.

An idea for Levi’s (which they may be all over already) would be to encourage customers to upload videos of what they are doing in their new 501s. Some benefits to Levi’s:

  • With the online component, they can capture some key information about the customer (at least what the person is willing to share) prior to the video upload
  • Running the promotion through YouTube or Facebook will allow for additional exposure
  • Regionalizing the entry pages themselves through ads and tags on the inventory offers an additional check on their demographic data

And that’s just the start. They won’t capture full and absolute data, but they will get a much better idea how effective their promotion strategy was on the heels of the initial viral video.

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Use Relevant Metrics

Measurement is the bane of our existence. The only way for us to know if what we are doing is effective is to measure the outcomes. But measuring stuff isn’t easy. In fact, we might be measuring the wrong stuff.

First, there are things that we know. It may be sales to a particular customer, regional profit growth or the return on a particular investment. What is important about the information you know is determining what is relevant. By relevant I mean that it is something you are able to act on or actually determine effectiveness.

Second, and much more difficult to handle, are those things that you don’t yet know. For what you don’t know, what is knowable. In other words, just because you aren’t evaluating something in a specific way doesn’t mean that you can’t. Before you start acting on it, though, make sure it is meaningful.

On the other hand, if you can’t access the data, and you can determine its relevance, you need to know what it will take to get to it.

In short, you have to measure. What you measure must lead to improvement of some sort, namely your organization’s growth. More on this tomorrow.

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